According to the scientists, one of the biggest threats to humanity is represented by a NEO collision with Earth. NEO is short for Near-Earth Objects and refers to the small or large rocks floating in space likely to collide with other objects, our planet included. Either it is an asteroid or a meteor or any kind of space debris, scientists keep a close eye on these in order to prevent a possible disaster.
Moreover, the world-renowned cosmologist, Stephen Hawking, believes that if humans failed to identify such threats from an early stage, our species won’t live through the next millennium. As expected, the scientists have taken the warning seriously and now focus more than ever on distant or near objects floating in space that could be on the collision course with Earth.
Last year, a team of researchers has identified what they believe to be the smallest asteroid ever discovered. Measuring only six feet in diameter, the recently discovered space rock is also the brightest asteroid ever observed by astronomers.
Vishnu Reddy is an assistant professor at the University of Arizona and also the lead researcher. He says that the team used four telescopes to investigate the small asteroid in order to gather valuable information. According to the group of researchers, the asteroid is capable of deflecting as much as 60 percent of the sunlight that crosses paths with its surface.
According to Vishnu Reddy, the asteroid’s surface is more similar to those of the meteorites that make up the aubrites category. These are capable of deflecting most of the sunlight that falls on their surface thanks to the rare types of reflective components they feature. The list includes silicates and bright minerals which have formed at impressive high temperatures in an environment free of oxygen.
The scientific society is especially thrilled with this discovery mainly because only one out of several thousand space rocks that come crashing down to Earth belong to the aubrites category.
The TC25 asteroid has been observed for the first time in October, 2015 by the University of Arizona. Furthermore, the initial reports said that the asteroid was traveling at incredible speeds 80,000 miles above the surface of the Earth.
For the past year, the team of scientists at the University of Arizona has been keeping a close eye on the asteroid, since it fits the size range of space rocks that usually hit our planet. However, astronomers say that these occurrences are becoming more of a routine and they pose no immediate threat to humanity.
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